Calling non-fiction writers …

hand writingI’ve been musing over the whole “am I creative” thing recently after writing my blog post on the topic, and, especially as I’ve been working on writing up my academic research, crafting, synthesising, describing and polishing, and pondering the differences between the creativity of the non-fiction and fiction writer. If there are any.

So I’m calling on non-fiction writers here, including memoir-writers and especially those people who have written both fiction and non-fiction (whether that’s novels and textbooks, poems and articles …). Talk to me about this! What’s the difference between fiction and non-fiction writing in terms of creativity?

I’d love to publish interviews with some of you on this topic (and you will of course get your name on here, plus links to your website and any places you sell your books). Here are some guide questions. Just pop your answers back to me via email or using the contact form on this website …


Answer any or all of these. If there are any questions you wish I’d asked, ask them of yourself! As long as they fit the topic, I’ll include them in your interview!

  • Tell me a bit about yourself and your books (a paragraph will do).
  • How did you start writing, and which came first, fiction or non-fiction?
  • Did you always want to write (a memoir / non-fiction) or was this a relatively late development?
  • I recently blogged about finding that writing non-fiction was still “creative”. Do you agree, or is only fiction writing truly creative?
  • I’ve heard it said that memoir should be considered as “creative non-fiction” – do you agree with that description? How do you think writing memoir differ from writing fiction on the one hand and non-fiction on the other?
  • If you use your own life in your fiction, was writing a memoir different from doing that?
  • Have you got anything else you want to add about creativity and writing (with particular regard to non-fiction)?
  • Tell us where we can find your books!
I really hope I can get a debate going with some of the non-fiction writing folk out there (and feature them here, too, as there seem to be more resources, forums and promotions for fiction folk!) so do please share this post with any non-fiction writers you know!

20 thoughts on “Calling non-fiction writers …

  1. I write nonfiction about the things I do. My next book is due out in January from Tuttle Publishing.

    My agent has submitted my next proposal and I am also working on a philosophical collection of essays that would probably qualify as a memoir and creative nonfiction. I will probably publish that myself through Kindle and Createspace.

    The best way to follow what I do is on my Facebook Author page at:


    • Thanks for your comment, Richard, it would be great if you could join in the discussion I’m trying to build about creativity in non-fiction and memoir, if you want to answer the questions, so it’s more of a discussion opportunity as well as, of course, a bit of a showcase for my fellow non-fiction authors’ books. I’m aiming to be able to post a series of interviews, one writer per post, over the next few weeks or months (I’ve got a few building up already), so that’s the idea really. I hope you can join in and look forward to reading your answers, just pop them through via email or the contact form so I can work them up into a nice rounded piece with comments from me at top and tail!


  2. I’m a Canadian multi-genre author and I’ve written both fiction and non-fiction. My writing began with non-fiction and then I moved to fiction. Recently I self-published another non-fiction but then right after another fiction…I seem to be flip-flopping! Writing non-fiction for me was inspired by the need to share personal life stories. Afterward, since I’ve read so many fiction titles I wanted to take a stab at it myself.

    Writing fiction and non-fiction, for me, is very different. With non-fiction, while it is still creative writing, the creativity is more in eloquently stating your feelings/beliefs so your readers understand the situation that you were in. This exercise was certainly helpful when switching to fiction because it enabled me to write in that same fashion so readers could understand how the characters felt.

    What’s more with fiction as opposed to non-fiction, is that you need to add other things like suspense, love scenes, etc., and a big factor-it’s all made up! Writers, myself included, often use our life experiences when writing fiction so we know what situations are like first hand. If we don’t have the experience in our back pocket to reference, that’s what research is for!

    If you’re interested in seeing some of my work, my books can be found on my website or on


    • Thanks for your thoughts, Sandy, this is a very interesting subject and I’m glad to be receiving such a variety of viewpoints on it. Research seems to be a key difference that people are bringing up.


  3. Hello Liz. Yes, I have published both non-fiction and fiction. My first book was an engineering and chemistry text in the field of alternative energy (METHANOL FUEL CELL SYSTEMS). I also wrote two chapters on hydrogen purification technology for other engineering texts. Then I explored fiction, and am still writing. Without a doubt, non-fiction is a creative endeavor. In fact, I don’t think I really knew the subject matter of my engineering text until I wrote the the book. During the process, new ideas and inventions came to me.

    Although I enjoy writing (both fiction and non-fiction), I found the notion of writing a book daunting and doubt I would have ever taken that step had I not been approached to write the book chapters first. Once that experience was behind me, it was easier to understand the commitment and process of writing a technical text when the publisher approached me. And that was my first opportunity to work directly with editors and the publisher, enriching me with more insight into the process of writing and publishing.

    I have wanted to write fiction all my adult life–action/political thrillers. My first novel, CROSSING SAVAGE, can be found here The second book in the series (RELENTLESS SAVAGE) will be released on March 25, and I’m currently writing the third book in the series. My technical book is also available through Amazon


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